Compare and Contrast owning Finches, Parakeets,Doves, and Lovebirds

Discussion in 'Caged Birds - Finches, Canaries, Cockatiels, Parro' started by Goat_Walker, Dec 28, 2009.

  1. Goat_Walker

    Goat_Walker I Am THE Crazy Duck Lady

    Jul 9, 2008
    Well I have recently taken an interest in getting an indoor little birdy. But Im not sure what would be the best for me as a first time little flying bird owner.

    WHats better? A wire cage or an Aquarium? I saw an aquarium type setup at a nursing home once it had a bunch of perches and nesting boxes on the inside and I thing it made the mess alot easier to clean up since the shaving didnt go all over the floor.

    Which are :
    Lays more eggs?

    JUst any type of stories or information ( PICTURES ) you want to share would be great! Im not looking for something really expensive. Just something that I can let sit on my finger every now and then and that wont bite me and make me bleed all the time.
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2009

  2. Emzyyy

    Emzyyy Runs with Deer

    Jul 14, 2008
    Derby Kansas
    Depends do you want a bird that you can handle or that is just for show and company? Finches don't like being handled. Paraketts are great little birds and love people's company. I loved my Zebra Finches although they could get a bit noisy. I've never had Doves or Lovebirds. My dad's friend used to breed birds and the Lovebirds were gorgeous though. [​IMG]
  3. Goat_Walker

    Goat_Walker I Am THE Crazy Duck Lady

    Jul 9, 2008
    Mostly interested in one that I can look at, It rather not have something that is too loud as it will be sharing a room wihth two rabbits and a hamster. Not really interested in breeds but that would be really neat! Im not sure if I want to handle it alot because im not sure how a little bird's poo works and dont want to have to keep cleaning the carpet.

    I would like to bae able to handle it though and possibly have it ride on my shoulder in the evenings.

    SO really its two options :

    SOmething that is pretty to look at and semi friendly ( doesnt bite ) doesnt have to be handled alot or at all


    Something that can be handled and very sweet

    Either would do really. I just dont want anything too expensive. They seem really simple to care for though.
  4. Bettacreek

    Bettacreek Crowing

    Jan 7, 2009
    Central Pennsyltucky
    I'd go with doves. They're generally $5-$20 each, are excellent parents/breeders, are super friendly and they're not too loud.
  5. Goat_Walker

    Goat_Walker I Am THE Crazy Duck Lady

    Jul 9, 2008
    How big of a cage do they need? And are they messy? I was thinking of getting a pretty finch or something small just because I dont have room for a huge cage.

  6. SarahBeth9394

    SarahBeth9394 Songster

    Aug 23, 2008
    I never heard that doves were friendly before. My experience is parakeets are great little companion birds. Get a real young one and it will be your buddy. Cockateils are just as nice as parakeets and better talkers. My cousin had finches and all you could do is look at them. My sil had lovebirds. The female was mean and they had to wear a leather glove to fill the food and water. The male was ok. I have had a couple parakeets and just loved them they were so nice. When you pick one out get it young and see if it will sit on your finger at the store. Both of mine did and they were great little birds. I know nothing of breeding birds though.
  7. Bettacreek

    Bettacreek Crowing

    Jan 7, 2009
    Central Pennsyltucky
    When I got my two doves, they were in an 18"x18"x24"ish (that's a guess) cage. So, no, they don't take up much space at all. They can make mess with the seeds, but that's a bird thing IMO (I've had that issue with parakeets, quail, cockatiels, etc, though I've never had finches).

    ETA: I've never heard of a mean dove, or a dove drawing blood. Parakeets, tiels, etc, though, I have. Finches I've never heard any horror stories, but, you can't really do much with them. They're basically like button quail, cute, and sound pretty, but nothing more. More of a messy decoration than anything else. Anyways, any doves that I've met have always been exceptionally friendly, even petco bred doves who were never handled.
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2009
  8. bagendhens

    bagendhens Songster

    Mar 29, 2009
    Outside the Boundries
    i would NEVER suggest an aquarium, the amonia and dust form the poop build up, birds need ventilation.
    aquariums are also MUCH too small!
    get a wire cage, the largest you can afford no matter what type of bird.

    finches are nice, there a hands off kind of bird, ive personally met a few that will sit on a finger, but those are rare, they are flightly, fast and tiny!
    finches do best in groups, a pair is a minmum, dont give them a nest unles syou want eggs, females will lay without a male, they will just be unviable (like hens) finches (along with canary) can be incredibly prolific with laying, often 2-3 clutches a year at 4-6 eggs average.
    finches are nice QUIET birds, they dont squark or sqeek but instead make a soft metalic type peeping sound. they also come in some GORGEOUS colors. (look up gouldians) zebras are relitivly cheap and a nice starting finch and pretty to look at.

    these are active little birds and prefer a flight cage...LONGER rather than taller
    would be a great cage for a pair of finch, but id remove the wooden dowels they have in there and replace them with shorter ones on either end going depth ways instead of long ways (so they can "fly" the lenght of the cage form one to the other.

    that cage would also work nicely for a pair of canary, a little more expensive but the joys of a male timbraro canaries voice...just wow.

    Doves are beutiful BUT unfortunatly have been mis represented by reacent pet trade, these birds need SPACE, at a minimum of 10sqft per small pair (ie diamond doves) and 20 for the larger species (ie white doves)
    they are however lovely soft sounding birds, with generally sweet curious natures, with frequent handling and time spent with them they can become incredibly human friendly! if you have the kind of space needed the diamond dove is a cute little bird. again they need a wire cage and perfer something longer rather than tall.
    while the bird itself will be relitivly cheap, the cost for building a cage big enough might be off putting...

    keeping a dove in a bird cage is like keeping an adult in a 6x6 room their entire lives...can they survive...yes, will they truly thrive, no...

    the parakeet, actually named the budgerigar comes in 2 verities...
    the english
    is the larger of the 2, often has a much larger domed head and of the 2 verieties the most likley to talk. they have higher pitched robotoc sounding voices when they do talk and often pick up whistles and small 1-2 sylable words. the english budgie is the breed that has the record for most words known (while the grey is known most for its talking ability that tiny budgie knew more words total!)
    the american budgie (parakeet most often sold in petstores) is smaller than the english with a les pronounced head. there more likley to whistle than talk.

    both verities care is about the same.
    these little guys are PARROTS, they are active, curious and inteligent. they also love attention.

    first a warning: DO NOT GET A HANDFED PARAKEET! handfed budgies are known as "pirannah birds" its not that they are "mean" its that they dont realiy differenciate between fingers and food, and instead fingers = food and you will get nibbled...ALOT.
    the good news is, youn g budgies tame down VERY quickly and nicely when parent raised as long as your willing to spend the time.
    a "tame" budgie will love nothing more than sitting on your shoulder, playing with your hair and whispering "sweet nothings" to you.
    they require a relitivly large cage for their size, i personally wont go less than a 16 x 20 for a single to pair of keets as they are reiltivly active birds.

    if you just want something pretty to look at this is also a good choice as a pair will be quite happy with eachothers company...
    please be aware through that while they are not realy LOUD birds, their chattering can get some good volume.

    not a bird id suggest for a beginner
    they are a tiny little parrot that bonds VERY strongly with its partner...
    if you get 2, they will bond to eachother, get one hell bond to YOU...
    for the right home however they are loving, active playfull birds, but again these are parrots, they require a large cage again, much larger than most stores sell for a "lovebird" (instead look for a conure cage)
    if getting a love bird find one hand raised, unlike parakeets they dont have a tendency to be nippy when hand raised and make much better pets.
    parent raised if you plan on keeping a pair that wont be let out of the cage much however is a cheaper option.
    and lovebirds can be LOUD...there not screamers like the larger parrot breeds, but they have a very LOUD high pitches chirp they yell out when trying to "contact the flock"
    theres a gentleman in our town with a lovebird who goes everywhere with him (he rides around in his hoodie) the pair are inseperable...but no joke, you can hear them gomming 1/2 a mile away because every 2-5 minutes the little lovebird lets out his peep to let other lovebirds know hes around...he just doesnt get that there are no other lovebirds to answer him...

    now of the birds you asked about id say either a pair of finches if your wanting a no handle kind of bird...
    or a nice parakeet or 2 if your wanting something you can get out and play with but not ready for a larger "parrot type"

    but im also going to suggest you do some reserch into the Parrotlet.
    a tiny little parrot with a tiny little voice and a whole lot of attitude! they are more advanced than the others youve mentioned but in my experience easier to keep and handle (and much quieter) than the lovebird.

    im also going to suggest you loook into liniolated parakeets, another sweet, quieter, playfull bird that comes in some stunning colors.

    as a general rule for cage sizing...
    if it says its big enough for a canary or finch, its not big enough to keep ANYTHING in...
    if it says its big enough for a parakeet, its the SMALLEST size you should do for a finch...
    if its big enough for a cockateil/small conure, its an OK cage for a single parakeet that gets lots of out of cage time.
    large conure...yup thatll suit a green cheek, teil, lovvie or p-let
    small parrot, thatll do you for the small-medium conures ect...
    the cages sold in shops as advertised are NEVER the right size for the bird their advertised for.
    id NEVER keep a parakeet in those tiny little cages, nor would i keep a lovebird in anything less than conure sized.

    bar spacing however is imprtant!
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2009
  9. RiverOtter

    RiverOtter Songster

    Nov 4, 2009
    I've kept all 4.
    Any bird, the bigger cage you give them, the happier they (and you) will be. Build one. An acrylic front to keep in mess, wood frame and 1/4 hardware cloth for the sides. Build it to fit on top of an end table or dresser that you already have, then instead of finding room for a cage and stand, you just have to rehome the knick-knacks that used to be on top of it

    Finches are lovely, easy care and colorful, but not really something you can have ride around on your shoulder. But if you just want something pretty and quiet, there are any number of finch breeds that are easy to find. Or even a pair of canaries. While my favorites are Zebras, you can't beat Gouldians for color.

    It's just me, but I find doves a little boring. LOL, a friend had one of those bird clocks and now when I hear doves going on and on and on I look for the broken clock.
    But others find the soft grey birds with the repetitive calls soothing. Like finches, they are really for looking at.

    Lovebirds are very pretty and comical, but their voices can be very shrill. Unless you get a handfed baby, they can be hard (but by no means impossible) to tame.

    I would say a budgie. They come in a rainbow of colors. They are pretty avairy birds with pleasant voices and tame easily if you want to handle them. I don't have any right now, but I've hand-fed babies and they become so very sweet. As with any hand fed bird, the act of squirting food at them is nowhere near as important as if the baby is handled and played with. With budgies you can just take the little ones out of the nest box to cuddle a few times a day and let the parents do the work. They will still be very friendly.
    Budgies don't always learn to talk, but they are excellent mimics. When they do talk, it sounds like a sped up record. It is a budgie that holds the world record for most words learned by a bird.
    I love those budgies!
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2009

  10. SilverPhoenix

    SilverPhoenix Bantam Fanatic

    Dec 15, 2009
    Penn Valley, CA
    Doves are very nice and pleasant, not too interested in being handled, but they're easy to keep and their calls are nice to listen to.

    My parakeets were easy to handle (if you get them hand-raised), but they didn't live long and didn't seem all that hardy.

    I've never had finches, but I do know they're not for handling. They're the sorts of birds who like to just flit around and enjoy each others' company and cheep. Great for if you just want some little birds to watch and listen to.

    I have two lovebirds, and while they're very sweet as babies they can get mean fairly easily. One of my lovebirds is okay with being held, though he bites a bit, and the other is a terrible biter.

    I honestly think the best caged bird as far as being sweet, easy to keep, reasonably hardy, and so on is the cockatiel. I have two that I've had for twelve years or so, and they're still very sweet and easy to deal with. Cockatiels are great birds. [​IMG]

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